News From 03/09/02

Square Releases Public Statement, Confirms Development For Nintendo
[ Link: Square IR | Publis Statement ]

Major software developer Square has released a public announcement in their Investors Relation(IR) site, making a general confirmation of the reports by the media late yesterday regarding Square's return to development for Nintendo. However, no mention of the Nintendo Gamecube has been made as of the current public statement.

The following is a translation.

In Regard to some of the Reports made by the Media today

Company Name : Square, Inc.
Representative Name : CEO/President Yoichi Wada
Inquiries to be made to :  CEO Office, Publicity/IR Chief
Kazuyoshi Murakawa

In some of the coverage by the media today, there have been reports that "Our company will return to providing games for Nintendo Co. Ltd." and "One of our company's producer will establish a company". While we are currently in the stage of preparing for publicity, we will release some supplementary explanation.

Our company is currently in preparation to release game software for Nintendo Co. Ltd's "Game Boy Advance" through a game planning & development company (Corporate name: Game Designers Studio Inc.(tentative), Capital: 10 million yen, Capital composition: Akiyoshi Kawazu 51%, Square 49%, Company Representative: Akiyoshi Kawazu(concurrently with post as Square Executive).

In addition, our game planning & development company is going through adjustment to receive an investment fund in its development of a new type of game. The investment fund "Fund Q", was established by Hiroshi Yamauchi's private fortune (Nintendo Co. Ltd President) to support venture businesses.

These issues will not influence our business productivity for the present term. We are currently planning our business management for the next term and onwards such as "Final Fantasy XI" and "Final Fantasy XII", with Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 2 as our main platform.

Translation- Henry A. Moriarty

For the original public statement, check Square's IR site.

Short Comment-

About Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi's "Fund Q"-

Fund Q is a 20 Billion Yen fund, founded by Nintendo CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi in January 2002. The source of the fund consists of revenue from 1.18 million Nintendo stocks sold from Yamauchi's posession, through selling 10.84%(Yamauchi's whole possesion) of Nintendo's stock in 1/27 and purchasing back 10% in 1/28.

Fundings will be offered to accepted companies without the requirement of any collateral- the prime rate of major banks is adopted as the interest rate. Each accepted company will receive approximately 1 Billion yen in funds.

Accepted applicants for Fund Q are limited to game software venture businesses in or outside of Japan, which will develop games that interweave the use of both the Gamecube and GBA. Accepted applicants must create their game in approximately 1 year. (The Nikkei Journal)

- "Madman" H. Moriarty

Tecmo to Release Dead or Alive 3 "Booster Disc" in May (
[ Link: Gamespot | Article ]

(Gamespot, Quoted) "Tecmo has announced that the Dead or Alive 3 "booster disc" will be available in the June issue of the Official Xbox Magazine, which goes on sale May 7.

The disc will contain a new movie, as well as new costumes for various Dead or Alive 3 characters, but players will need the full version of Dead or Alive 3 in order to access the new content. However, a new playable demo of Dead or Alive 3 will also be included on the disc for those who do not own the game. "

For the full article, check gamespot.

Short Comment- Never had a Weekend this Hot! Square to return to Nintendo

With the news confirmed by not only multiple sources but Square and Nintendo themselves, this weekend is defintiely heating up. Both companies should be preparing press releases, so we shoud receive a more detailed word by Monday or so.

In the meanwhile, here's a few notes written by Japanese Journal site, Mainichi Interactive. [ Article ]

1- Square is scheduled to release multiple titles for the GBA within the year 2002, both new and/or remake titles.

2- According to Nintendo's public relations, the two companies have been planning since the end of 2001, ever since Square executive Akiyoshi Kawazu made a request to create a new game software that will play in conjunction between the GBA and Gamecube.

3- Square's IR division also mentions that they have conveyed to their second major stockholder (18.6%) Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), prior to actually negociating with Nintendo to develop again for their platforms.

It does make me wonder however, if Square is going multiple platforms, or if they finally succeeded in getting their wish to contract with Nintendo again.

If it's a beginning of a multi-platform release, I wouldn't be surprised if they go on the Xbox as well. But I think it'd more of a re-connection of relationship with Nintendo. Though with the reports coming in, it seems like Square is more dedicated to the handheld machine than the home console, at least for the first year.

In either case, it's good news for Square and Nintendo alike.
-H. Moriarty